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Betfred is a bookmaker based in the United Kingdom, founded by Fred and Peter Done.[note 1] It was first established as a single shop in Ordsall, Salford, in 1967. Its turnover in 2004 was more than £3.5 billion, having risen from £550 million in 2003.[1] It has its head office is in Birchwood, Warrington and also has offices in Media City, Salford Quays, Salford.

Key people
Fred, co founder, chairman and CEO
Peter Done, co founder
Betfred, Putney, London



Betfred, North End Road, Fulham, London

Done Bookmakers was first established as a single shop in Ordsall, Salford in 1967. Fred and Peter Done financed the first Done Bookmakers shop with capital made from a winning bet they placed on England to win the 1966 World Cup.[2]

In 1997, Done Bookmakers acquired the Robert Walker chain of bookmakers, taking their total to one hundred shops. By 2000, the total number of shops nationwide had risen to 200, and in 2002, Done Bookmakers opened their first shop in the Greater London area.[3]

The current name Betfred was first used in 2004. In 2004, Betfred also launched their digital platform and offer sports betting, online casino, online games, bingo, lotto, online poker and virtual sports as well as pool betting.[4] In November 2004, a Betfred customer became the first betting shop millionaire; a customer known only as Ken selected six winners on the totescoop6 and pocketed £1,132,657 in a Salford shop.[5]

Betfred’s retail expansion continued with shops opening around the United Kingdom. Betfred's five hundredth shop opened in Cardiff in 2005.[6] In 2013, the company established Betfred TV, an in house channel that is available in all shops both on the high street and on the racecourse. This was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Fred Done was the first bookmaker to pay out early (i.e. before the result was guaranteed), when in March 1998 it paid out to gamblers who had bet that Manchester United would win the Premier League, only for Arsenal to pip United by one point.[7]

During the 2004–05 FA Premier League season, Done lost £1m to fellow bookmaker Victor Chandler after staking that amount that Manchester United would finish higher than Chelsea. The bet was offered to other high profile bookmakers yet only Chandler took him up on the offer. Chelsea finished 18 points clear of third placed Manchester United and won their first Premiership title under Jose Mourinho.[8]

Betfred also paid out early on Manchester United to win the 2011–12 Premier League title, only for Manchester City to beat them on goal difference.[9]

In 2013, it was widely reported that Fred Done formed part of the 'Red Knights' consortium that were looking to buy English Premier League club Manchester United from the current owners the Glazer Family. The reports proved to be incorrect but Done remained a season ticket holder at Old Trafford.[10]

As of July 2017, Betfred operates over 1650 shops throughout the United Kingdom, after the purchase of 322 shops due to the merger between fellow bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral in October 2016. Betfred also operates shops on 51 racecourses around the country, including Newmarket, Epsom and Cheltenham.[11] In August 2017, Betfred appointed former Nottingham Forest and England footballer Stuart Pearce as its brand ambassador. The company believed Pearce to be the epitome of Betfred; uncomplicated.[12]

In September 2017, Betfred celebrated their fiftieth year of business. A documentary film about the history of the company was released on the official Betfred Youtube channel.[13][14] In July 2018, Betfred won a court case against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The ruling states that Betfred overpaid Value-Added Tax (VAT), and could see a £100 million refund.[15]

In November 2018, legal action is planned against Betfred after a punter appeared to win a jackpot of £1.7 million but the company claimed, this was due to a computer glitch. Peter Coyle, the punter's solicitor, maintains Betfred has failed to verify any software problem.[16]


Betfred shop in Manchester

Horse racingEdit

Betfred is one of the largest sponsors of horse racing in the United Kingdom, with races spread across racecourses in the country, including the Midlands National run at Uttoxeter Racecourse, the Dante Stakes and Ebor Handicap both at York Racecourse, and the Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket Racecourse.

In 2005, Betfred became sponsors of the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. The race is run over the minimum distance of five furlongs. The sponsorship ended in 2016. Betfred also sponsored the most prestigious jumps race the Cheltenham Gold Cup between the years of 2012 and 2015.[17]

Rugby leagueEdit

In October 2016, Betfred began a three year period as the main sponsor of rugby league's Super League, the northern hemisphere's premier rugby league competition with twelve teams spread across England, and Catalans Dragons based in Perpignan, France.[18]


Betfred sponsored the World Snooker Championships from 2009 to 2012, before losing the sponsorship rights.[citation needed] In 2015, it was announced that Betfred were to become the sponsors of the tournament once again, and increase the winner’s prize money to £375,000.[19][citation needed]


Betfred was the official betting partner of Manchester United from 2006 to 2013.[20][citation needed]

In May 2016, it was announced that Betfred would take over sponsorship of the Scottish League Cup for three years, rebranding it the Betfred Cup.[21]

In June 2017, Betfred was confirmed as the new official shirt sponsors of Championship side Bolton Wanderers, in an agreement which will initially last for two years.[22]

The ToteEdit

On 3 June 2011, Betfred won the auction to purchase the then Government owned Tote betting operation in a deal worth £265m.[23] The counter bid was lodged by the SIP (Sports Investment Partners) consortium headed by former city banker and British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton. Betfred pledged £155m into racing over the next seven years,[24] as well as creating the Tote Racing Development Board, giving greater say to industry figures.[25]

In September 2016, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport "In terms of the Tote Racing Development Board, I can confirm that as a stand alone concept it has not been set up to date. Betfred has confirmed that Totepool work with race course owners and management on a continuing basis (which may serve the same purpose as the intended Tote racing development board)."

The deal gave Betfred exclusive control over the on-course betting system for seven years. Football manager and racehorse owner Sir Alex Ferguson had lent his support to Betfred's bid.[26] In 2018, the exclusive license taken out by Betfred officially ran out.[27]


Explanatory notesEdit

  1. ^ Pronounced to rhyme with "bone".


  1. ^ Fowler, Dave (11 June 2005). "Betfred's Fred Done". Inside Poker. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  2. ^ Hayler, Will (3 June 2011). "The boy Done good: Betfred's rise and rise". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Betfred Corporate – History". Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Betfred - A hugely successful bookmaker built by Two Brothers - Gaming Revolution". Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  5. ^ "£1m betting shop jackpot claimed". 10 November 2004. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Betfred Corporate – History". Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Sport: Headlines You Thought You Would Never Read In 1998". The Independent. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  8. ^ "He Thinks It's All Over Betfred Pays". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  9. ^ Murrells, Katy (3 April 2012). "He thinks it's all over: bookie pays out on Manchester United title win". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Betfred Owner Fred Done Backs Red Knights Campaign To Buy Manchester United -". Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Ladbrokes-Coral sells 359 betting shops". BBC News. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Stuart Pearce fronts Zut Media's new campaign for Betfred". Prolific North. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Betfred releases documentary to mark 50th anniversary". 27 September 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Betting on Horses: 50 years of betting". 10 September 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  15. ^ Gregory, Muhammad (30 July 2018). "Betfred Court Case Victory Could See £1b Refunded to Bookies". Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  16. ^ Punter suing Betfred for refusing to pay out £1.7m jackpot after he spent thousands celebrating in pub The Independent
  17. ^ Developer, Pixl8. "Betfred loses sponsorships - News". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  18. ^ Betfred announced as new title partner for Betfred Super League
  19. ^ White, Jim (1 May 2017). "Mark Selby digs deep to hold off John Higgins and retain World Snooker Championship". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Reds team up with Betfred - Official Manchester United Website". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  21. ^ "£1m Scottish League Cup sponsorship deal agreed with Betfred". BBC Sport. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Bolton Wanderers announce Betfred as official shirt sponsor". Bolton Wanderers FC. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  23. ^ Blackburn, Andy (3 June 2011). "The Tote sold to Betfred for £265M". Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Betfred buys the Tote". iGaming Business. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Betfred offers Tote advisory role to racing industry". Manchester Evening News. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  26. ^ Bridge, Sarah (22 May 2011). "Sir Alex puts his money on Betfred in Tote race". This Is Money. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  27. ^ Barber, Bill. "Boost to new pool betting operation after 54 courses commit". Racing Post. Retrieved 11 October 2017.

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